Theoretical Approaches Supporting Workplace Innovation
The theoretical underpinning of Workplace Innovation (WPI) is badly needed. Currently, there are scattered theoretical approaches that focus on human relations, systems and work organisation, change processes, and strategic business choices or a combination of these. We propose a working definition of WPI and subsequently relate approaches and supporting theories to that definition. We do not intend to formulate a definitive theory, but to demarcate what we are talking about as a community of scientific, business/HR and policy practice, in order to set out a path for aligning future research and theory development of WPI. The purpose is to show how these approaches support WPI practices and its claims for results and to discuss what we can learn from each approach for WPI. This contribution regards WPI as a means to simultaneously improve organisational performance and the quality of working life.
KeywordsWorkplace innovation Organisational performance Quality of working life
We would like to thank Frank D. Pot for our fruitful discussions and for commenting on earlier drafts. However, the authors are responsible for the final text.
- Appelbaum, E., Hoffer Gittell, J., & Leana, C. (2011, April). High-performance work practices and sustainable economic growth. Washington, DC: The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).Google Scholar
- Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2014). Job demands—Resources theory. In P. Y. Chen & C. L. Cooper (Eds.), Work and wellbeing: A complete reference guide (Vol. III, pp. 1–28). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Boxall, P., & Macky, K. (2014). High-involvement work processes, work intensification and employee well-being. Work Employment Society. doi: 10.1177/0950017013512714 published online June 12, 2014.
- Christis, J. H. P. (2010). Organization and job design: What is smart organizing? In H. A. M. van Lieshout, L. Polstra, J. H. P. Christis, & B. J. M. Emans (Eds.), Management of labour. Societal and managerial perspectives (pp. 39–71). Groningen: Hanzehogeschool Groningen University of Applied Sciences.Google Scholar
- De Sitter, L. U., den Hertog, J. F., & Dankbaar, B. (1997). From complex organizations with simple jobs to simple organizations with complex jobs. Human Relations, 50(6), 497–534.Google Scholar
- Dhondt, S., Oeij, P. R. A., van der Meulen, F. A., Preenen, T. Y. P., Vergeer, R., van der Kleij, R., et al. (2013). Platform workplace innovation: Workplace innovation in a capability maturity framework. Leiden: TNO.Google Scholar
- Dhondt, S., & Van Hootegem, G. (2015). Reshaping workplaces: Workplace innovation as designed by scientists and practitioners. European Journal of Workplace Innovation, 1(1), 17–24.Google Scholar
- Drucker, P. F. (2003). The productivity of the knowledge worker. In P. F. Drucker (Ed.), A functioning society. Selections form sixty-five years of writing on community, society, and polity (pp. 169–178). New Brunswick, London: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
- Eeckelaert, L., Dhondt, S., Oeij, P., Pot, F., Nicolescu, G. I., Webster, J., et al. (2012). Review of workplace innovation and its relation with occupational safety and health: Literature review. Bilbao: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.Google Scholar
- Gittell, J. H. (2016). Transforming relationships for high performance. The power of relational coordination. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Gustavsen, B. (2015). Practical discourse and the notion of democratic dialogue. European Journal of Workplace Innovation, 1(1), 25–35.Google Scholar
- Gustavsen, B. (2016). Democratic dialogue. In B. J. Mohr & P. Van Amelsvoort (Eds.), Co-creating humane and innovative organizations. Evolutions in the practice of socio-technical system design (pp. 186–200). Portland ME: Global STS-D Network.Google Scholar
- Helfat, C., Finkelstein, S., Mitchell, W., Peteraf, M., Singh, H., Teece, D., et al. (2007). Dynamic capabilities: Understanding strategic change in organizations. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Herriot, P. (2001). The employment relationship: A psychological perspective. Hove: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Kallevig, A. (2012). Medarbeiderdrevet innovasjon. http://www.arbeidslivet.no/Arbeid1/Naringspolitikk/Medarbeiderdrevet-innovasjon/. Accessed October 15, 2012 (in Norwegian).
- Karasek, R. A. (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Administrative science quarterly, 24, 285–308.Google Scholar
- Karasek, R. A., & Theorell, T. (1990). Healthy work; Stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- OECD. (2012). New sources of growth, knowledge-based capital driving investment and productivity in the 21st century. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
- Oeij, P. R. A. (2017). The resilient innovation team. A study of teams coping with critical incidents during innovation projects. Ph.D. dissertation. Open University of The Netherlands.Google Scholar
- Oeij, P. R. A., Dhondt, S., Kraan, K. O., Vergeer, R., & Pot, F. D. (2012). Workplace innovation and its relations with organisational performance and employee commitment. LLinE, Lifelong Learning in Europe, 4 (no page numbers). http://www.elmmagazine.eu/articles/workplace-innovation-and-its-relations-with-organisational-performance-and-employee-commitment/
- Oeij, P., Žiauberytė-Jakštienė, R., Dhondt, S., Corral, A., Totterdill, P., & Preenen, P. (2015). Workplace innovation in European companies. Study commissioned by Eurofound. Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
- Sennett, R. (1998). The corrosion of character. The personal consequences of work in the New Capitalism. New York, London: Norton.Google Scholar
- Totterdill, P. (2010). Workplace innovation: Europe 2020’s missing dimension. Report of a workshop hosted by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, June 23, 2010, UKWON, Nottingham.Google Scholar
- Van Eijnatten, F. M. (1993). The paradigm that changed the work place. Assen: Van Gorcum.Google Scholar
- Van Eijnatten, F. M., & van Der Zwaan, A. H. (1998). The Dutch IOR approach to organizational design: An alternative to business process re-engineering? Human Relations, 51(3), 289–318.Google Scholar
- Van Hootegem, G. (2016). Changing the nature of work: Toward Total Workplace Innovation. In B. J. Mohr & P. Van Amelsvoort (Eds.), Co-creating humane and innovative organizations. Evolutions in the practice of socio-technical system design (pp. 326–343). Portland ME: Global STS-D Network.Google Scholar
- Weick, K. E. & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2007). Managing the unexpected: Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty, (2nd Edn.; 1st Edn. 2001), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Womack, J. P., & Jones, D. T. (2005). Lean solutions: How companies and customers can create value and wealth together. London: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar